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Ilya Kovalchuk struggles in first game since return to KHL

Ilya Kovalchuk Ilya Kovalchuk has said he doesn't think playing in the KHL will dull his skills. (Martin Rose/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

This probably wasn't how Ilya Kovalchuk pictured it all going down.

Although his SKA St. Petersburg club rolled to a convincing 5-1 win over Avangard Omsk on Friday night, the erstwhile Devil was held pointless in his less-than-triumphant return to the KHL.

Typical enigmatic Russian, am I right?

Kovalchuk put just one shot on net for SKA. He did, however, kick one into the net at the end of the game, "seemingly out of frustration," according to rsport.com.

No doubt he will find the net when it counts soon enough -- he had 42 points in 36 games for SKA last season, after all -- but jilted fans in New Jersey had to enjoy seeing Kovalchuk faceplant in his first action since he hung them out to dry.